European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 126Dr. Ali M. Al-KhouriUni...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1271. IntroductionInformat...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 128The objective of this a...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 129Figure 2: Development o...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 130Private sector has alwa...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 131Table 1: Factors that i...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 132Table 2: Internet Users...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 133Overall, GCC countries ...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1345. UAE eGovernment Stra...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 135Figure 5: UAE in UN EGo...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 136Table 3: The seven prim...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 137Figure 6: UAE eGovernme...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 138Figure 7: Strategy Deve...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 139Figure 8: Strategic int...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1403.	 Launching and provi...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 141Figure 9: UAE eGovernme...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 142Figure 10: Some of the ...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 143The government also dev...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 144As part of the programm...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 145Figure 13: Enabling sec...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 146Figure 14: Federated id...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1477. ConclusionsIn an era...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 148Atkinson, R.D. & Castro...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 149Hirschfeld, B. (2012). ...
European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 150Roebuck, K. (2011). Fed...
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eGovernment Strategies The Case of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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This article provides an overview of eGovernment and its role in revolutionising existing governmental systems. It argues that in order for eGovernment initiatives to truly succeed, we need to develop public trust and confidence to promote diffusion and participation. The article relates this to the recently announced UAE eGovernment Strategic Framework 2011-2013. The framework attempts to promote the electronic transformation of all government services within a period of three years. An important component of the strategic framework in question is the use of the existing national identity management infrastructure and the development of a government-owned federated identity management system to support Government-to-Citizen (G2C) eGovernment transactions and promote trust and confidence on the Internet.

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  1. 1. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 126Dr. Ali M. Al-KhouriUnited ArabEmiratesThis article provides an overview of eGovernment and its rolein revolutionising existing governmental systems. It argues thatin order for eGovernment initiatives to truly succeed, we needto develop public trust and confidence to promote diffusion andparticipation. The article relates this to the recently announcedUAE eGovernment Strategic Framework 2011-2013. Theframework attempts to promote the electronic transformationof all government services within a period of three years. Animportant component of the strategic framework in questionis the use of the existing national identity managementinfrastructure and the development of a government-ownedfederated identity management system to support Government-to-Citizen (G2C) eGovernment transactions and promote trustand confidence on the Internet.eGovernment Strategies The Case of the United ArabEmirates (UAE)KeywordseGovernment, identitymanagement, federated identity,identity card.Government-owned identitymanagement systems thatprovide secure, uniqueand tamper-proof digitalidentities should becomea primary component ofnational eGovernmentstrategies. Such federatedidentity systems can gainhigher levels of trust,confidence and encouragepublic participation andhas the potential to enablenew levels of collaborationbetween differentgovernment agencies.
  2. 2. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1271. IntroductionInformation and Communications Technologies (ICT) have affected the ways in which people,governments and businesses interact with each other. The rapid diffusion of the Internet, mobiletelephony and broadband networks demonstrate how pervasive this technology has become. Today,ICT is considered as one of the fundamental building blocks of modern societies and digital economies(Castells, 2009; Varian et al., 2005).Yet, the revolutionary pace in countries worldwide is dependent on the preparedness of severalfactors of both social and political environments (Gauld & Goldfinch, 2006; Loader, 2009; OECD,2009). New technologies have revealed their potential to threaten existing power settings andeconomic relationships (Beer, 2011; Nixon & Koutrakou, 2007). The numerous applications of ICTover the past few decades have shown its transformative potential and its usage as an important toolfor organising political dissent in countries worldwide (Hirschfeld, 2012; Reddick, 2010; Serageldin,2011).From a government standpoint, eGovernment adoption is becoming an unquestionable task.EGovernment deals with facilitating the operation of government and the distribution of governmentalinformation and services. The ultimate goal of eGovernment is to be able to offer an increasedportfolio of public services to citizens in an efficient and cost effective manner. Anticipated benefitsof eGovernment include efficiency, improved services, better accessibility of public services, andmore transparency and accountability (Atkinson & Castro, 2008), see also Figure 1.Figure 1: Primary drivers of eGovernment.
  3. 3. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 128The objective of this article is to examine some of the difficulties pertaining to the successfuldevelopment and implementation of eGovernment programmes. The aim is to be pragmatic and focuson the problematic area from a practitioner’s point of view, thus relating the identified concerns andmapping them to a case study drawn from the UAE eGovernment experience.The article is structured as follows: The first section provides a snapshot overview of the literaturearound the objectives and outcomes associated to eGovernment. It then briefly discusses theissue of trust and security in virtual networks and how it may encourage or inhibit public trust andconfidence. The following section gives an overview of eGovernment in the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC1) countries and some recent statistics about eGovernment diffusion. It then presents the caseof the UAE eGovernment Strategic Framework 2012-2014 and explains its primary objectives andcomponents. Finally, it sheds some light on the UAE government’s strategic initiative, the nationalidentity management infrastructure and its federated identity management system explaining itspotential role in supporting the eGovernment transformation and successful implementation of thegovernment’s strategy.2. eGovernment: The power of technologyeGovernment in its simplest form is about the use of ICT to provide access to governmental informationand deliver public services to citizens and business partners. However, practitioners have still notfigured out how to exploit its full benefits. There is an equilibrium problem with eGovernmentapplications and limitations arising from the difficulty to tangibly justify the gigantic investments inICT systems for the past decade and a half.The average public expectations concerning governments’ efforts are shaped according to the abilityof the government to successfully improve citizens’ quality of life. Governments need to ensurethat their policies, regulations and systems, enable citizen participation and address the needsof improving the delivery of services. The service delivery lifecycle needs to be reengineered andredesigned so as to meet citizen’s expectations of enhanced social security and quality of life. Figure2 depicts the role of government policy making in building a more citizen-centric and competitivegovernment.Government policies should enable governments to undertake radical organisational changes, that:(1) foster growth in services, (2) reduce unnecessary costs and regulatory burdens on firms, (3)strengthen education and training systems, (4) encourage good management practices, (5) fosterinnovation and new applications, (6) foster market conditions and create a business environmentthat promotes productive economy, and the list goes on.1 GCC is the acronym for Gulf Cooperation Council, also referred to as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States ofthe Gulf (CCASG). It includes six countries namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United ArabEmirates.
  4. 4. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 129Figure 2: Development of a new revolution in GovernmentsAdvocates of eGovernment point out the opportunities for citizens to play a greater role in publicpolicy (Ambali, 2010; Bonina & Cordella, 2008; Navarra & Cornford, 2007; Torres et al., 2005). Theyalso stress its potential to connect them, quickly and directly, to what their government has to offer– no queues, no waiting, service 24/7.Cost-cutting is a major factor driving decisions to go online. Advanced eGovernment in our opinionhas the potential to cut overheads by as high as 90 %, through streamlined communications andintegrated systems that offer higher levels of efficiency, effectiveness and convenience. This is tosay, eGovernment initiatives can reduce administrative burdens, process time cycles and improveresponsiveness. Besides, compared with the traditional over-the-counter services, online servicescan reduce substantial tangible costs as they, for example, do not need buildings, people, electricity,service desks etc.Indeed, ICT offers the potential for development and competition in the public sector specifically inareas of customer service and overall organisational excellence2 programmes. Such competition notonly helps lower the costs of government services through automation and computerisation but alsostrengthens pressures on firms to improve performance and change conservative attitudes.2 Though competition in the public sector was not relevant in the past, governments today use excellence models torecognise achievements and support the implementation of best in class tools and practices. Excellence programmes areperceived by governments as a tool to achieve sustainable growth and enhanced performance, create a breakthroughin public sector productivity, and boost engagement to improve bottom line results. The EFQM Excellence model, forinstance, is one of the most common frameworks that is widely used in public and private sector organisations (http://www.efqm.org).
  5. 5. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 130Private sector has always challenged the public sector and acted as a catalyst for better qualityand for more effective budget utilisation (Suomi & Tähkäpää, 2002). Increased computerisation inthe public sector is promoting new levels of balance between the two sectors (Das et al., 2010).Government agencies and public sector agencies in particular are paying greater attention to corecapabilities and outsource other support functions to be delivered by the private sector (Suomi &Tähkäpää, 2002). ICT in this regard has played a central role in helping governments to achieveremarkable productivity gains (EIU, 2004).On the other hand, and despite high spending and the widespread adoption of sophisticated ICTinfrastructure, many other countries continue to lag behind on key measures of economic growthand productivity (ibid). Government investment in ICT to date has been very narrowly focused onadministrative rationalisation, cost-cutting, and service reform without giving attention to createpublic oriented systems that promote and encourage citizen participation (Longford, 2002).The major deficiency in such efforts is that they have been thought of and executed from a‘government mindset’ rather than being based on public needs and expectations. Such a narrow viewof eGovernment calls for reported ICT achievements to be regarded with a sceptical eye (Longford,2002). Unless measures are taken to address other aspects of society and governance, eGovernmentalone may produce little if any net gain in leveraging ICT to rationalise and restructure administrativesystems and service delivery systems (ibid).Other researchers recommend that governments adopt a new approach that embeds a transformationin the logic underpinning the design and evaluation of public sector organisations (Lane, 2000).This is envisaged to have considerable implications for enhancing the services delivered by publicadministration and serious consequences for the public value associated with the services delivered(Bonina & Cordella, 2008).In Arab countries, eGovernment is now viewed as the path to develop a more sustainable neweconomy. It is also considered as playing a vital role in managing and directing the process of changeand reform that will boost public confidence. However, building trust in eGovernment is not a simpleissue. Relevant literature shows that there are overwhelming concerns about the potential of digitalnetworks to negatively affect public privacy and security (Conklin & Whiet, 2006; McLeod andPippin, 2009; Nikkhahan et al., 2009; Palanisamy & Mukerji, 2012; Yee et al., 2005). The next sectiondiscusses this in more detail.3. Trust and ConfidenceTrust is probably one of the most important aspects in the implementation of eGovernment strategies.In order for eGovernment to achieve its ambitious objectives to develop and deliver high quality andintegrated public services, citizens need to trust the virtual environment. Without trust, citizens willnot participate in the eGovernment process.A review of the literature and empirical studies on eGovernment identifies the criteria for theadoption of eGovernment from both a citizen’s and government’s perspective, which highlights trustand security as major factors (Al-Khouri, 2012a; Tassabehji & Elliman, 2006). Empirical evidenceshows that the level of trust is simply not a gradual process that happens over time (Berg et al.,1995; Kramer, 1999), rather a cumulative process. There are several overlapping and consistentfactors that have the potential to impact the building of trust. These are classified in two majorclusters; pre-interactional and interactional factors, as depicted in Table 1 (Colesca, 2009).
  6. 6. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 131Table 1: Factors that impact the building of trust.Pre-interactional factorsIndividual citizen/consumer behavioural attributesSubjective norms, individual demographics, culture,past experiences, propensity to trust, benevolence,credibility, competency, fairness, honesty, integrity,openness, general intention to trust and use ofeServices.Institutional attributesOrganisational reputation, accreditation,innovativeness, general perceived trustworthiness of theorganisation.TechnologyHardware and software that deliver security andeffectiveness such as interface design, public keyencryption, integrity.Interactional factorsProduct/service attributes Reliability, availability, quality, and usability.Transactional delivery and fulfilment of servicesUsability, security, accuracy, privacy, interactivity,quality.Information content attributes Completeness, accuracy, currency, quality.For the successful adoption of eGovernment services, citizens must have the intention to ‘engage ineGovernment’ which encompasses the intentions to receive and provide information through onlinechannels (Warkentin et al., 2002). With the increasing reach of digital communication tools andconnectivity, governments’ interactions with their citizens over virtual networks are becoming morepopular. Citizens have come to expect and demand governmental services matching private-sectorservices in every aspect of quality, quantity, and availability.In fact, such expectations put higher pressures on governments to develop quality services anddelivery systems that are efficient and effective. However, the complexity arises from the fact thata citizen plays multiple roles while interacting with the government. Single role-based identities aredecreasingly relevant in existing government transactions. This makes it imperative for governmentsto acquire citizen-centric qualities that provide services and resources tailored to the actual serviceand resource needs of the users, including citizens, residents, government employees, businesspartners, etc.The next section provides a snapshot of eGovernment in GCC countries who have been recognisedglobally for their efforts in eTransformation and eReadiness.4. eGovernment in GCC CountriesThe latest United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report on eGovernment shows a high levelof preparedness in Middle Eastern countries, well above the world average, in terms of eGovernmentadoption and readiness to interact proactively with citizens. The Internet usage in the Middle East isreported to be 35.6 % compared to 32.6 % worldwide (UNDP, 2012). See also Table 2.
  7. 7. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 132Table 2: Internet Users in the Middle East and the World3Middle EastRegionPopulation(2011 Est.)Pop. % ofWorldInternetUsers 31 Dec2011% Population(Penetration)Users%WorldFacebook31-03-2012Total Middle East 216,258,843 3.1 % 77,020,995 35.6 % 3.4 % 20,247,900Rest of theWorld6,713,796,311 96.9 % 2,190,212,747 32.6 % 96.6 % 815,277,380World Total 6,930,055,154 100.0 % 2,267,233,742 32.7 % 100.0 % 835,525,280Source: http://www.internetworldstats.comRepresenting a total of 77 million internet users, Middle Eastern citizens are classified as heavy usersof electronic social networks with high dependence on digital communications. The United ArabEmirates have the highest Internet penetration with nearly 70 % of the population followed closelyby Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine and KSA. See also Figure 3.Figure 3: Middle East Country Wise Internet % Population (Penetration)Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com3 NOTES: (1) Internet Usage and Population Statistics for the Middle East were updated as of 31 December 2011, andFacebook subscribers were updated as of 31 March 2012; (2) population numbers are based on data contained in the USCensus Bureau; (3) the most recent Internet stats come mainly from data published by Nielsen Online , ITU , Facebookand other trustworthy sources; (4) data on this site may be cited, giving due credit and establishing an active link backto InternetWorldStats.com. Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com.
  8. 8. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 133Overall, GCC countries have maintained leadership in eGovernment readiness among Arab peers.They have taken serious steps to support the diffusion of eGovernment in their societies (Al-Khouri &Bachlaghem, 2011; Al-Khouri & Bal, 2007). Several UNDP reports confirmed that the growing effortsof GCC governments to promote digital transformation and literacy have helped further enhancethe region’s collective ranking in the UN eGovernment Readiness Surveys (UNDP, 2010; UNDP 2012).These reports indicated that GCC countries played various roles for eGovernment in addressing theglobal financial crisis.Governments of the GCC countries are considered to be in intense competition with each other todevelop a new knowledge-based economy, away from the current dependence on oil, and to maketheir products and services competitive on a global scale (Awan, 2003). GCC countries are proceedingat a rapid space to use more service oriented and citizen-centric operating models. This rapid reformis bringing a paradigm shift in the way citizens in the GCC are interacting with their governments.There are serious efforts in these countries to develop electronic operating environments, withadvanced capabilities to build the right conditions for the eCitizens concept to evolve.The next section provides an overview of the eGovernment strategy of one of the GCC countries,namely the UAE government’s strategic framework that aims to electronically transform all publicservices through a two-year action plan.
  9. 9. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1345. UAE eGovernment Strategic Framework 2012-2014Although local initiatives in the UAE started earlier, the federal eGovernment programme startedin 2001. One of the early eServices offered at a federal level was the electronic card known as theeDirham in 2001, which was issued to collect government services fees (Figure 4). Today, the UAEis considered to have one of the most advanced and world-class information and communicationtechnology infrastructures.Figure 4: UAE Federal eGovernment EvolutionThe UAE is considered among the highest investing governments in adopting and implementingprogressive ICT in its government and private sectors. The UAE has made a remarkable worldwideachievement in the field of eGovernment according to the UN eGovernment Survey 2012, whichfocuses on the role of eGovernment in sustainable development. The UAE achieved the 28th rankoverall according to the survey against the 49th rank in the 2010 Survey. It scored 7th on onlineservice index against 99th in the 2010 survey and 6th in the eParticipation index against 86th in the2010 survey (Figure 5).
  10. 10. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 135Figure 5: UAE in UN EGovernment Survey 2012The UAE has recently announced a revised eGovernment Transformation Strategic Framework. Thisframework comprises numerous strategic initiatives at a federal level to transform all governmentservices and make them available electronically through various channels. The following section willprovide an overview of this strategy.5.1 UAE Federal eGovernment Strategic FrameworkThe United Arab Emirates has developed a federal eGovernment Strategic Framework for 2012-2014that charts out the initiatives and courses of action the government intends to take over a period ofthree years. The framework is aimed to contribute to:1. UAE Vision 2021: which drives the UAE to be one of the best countries in the world, see alsoTable 3; and2. UAE Government Strategy 2011-2013: that aims at putting citizens first and developing anaccountable and innovative government.The framework also makes reference to some of the existing federal strategies to ensure alignmentwith government strategic intents and plans. See also Table 3.
  11. 11. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 136Table 3: The seven primary references in the UAE eGovernment strategyDescription ReferencesIs the highest reference strategy and providesthe strategic vision of the country, for which theeGovernment strategy needs to be aligned with,and contribute to its realisation. The UAE vision2021 envisages development of a knowledge-basedeconomy that will be diverse and flexible led by skilledprofessional Emiratis. The vision contains four importantcomponents with detailed objectives related to nationalidentity, economy, education and health. It seeks tomake the UAE a land of ambitious and confident peoplewho hold on to their heritage; a strong federation; acompetitive economy led by creative and knowledgeableEmiratis; and finally a high quality of life in a generousand sustainable environment.http://www.vision2021.ae/UAE Vision 2021Provides a phased plan for the Federal Government toprogress towards the UAE Vision 2021.http://uaecabinet.ae/English/Documents/PMO%20StrategyDocEngFinV2.pdfUAE Strategy 2011-2013Government strategy to regulate the telecommunicationssector. It represents the basis on which the eGovernmentstrategy was developed, as it defines and details thethree dimensions of service, environment and readiness.UAE Government ICT StrategyProvides an analysis of the current state of federalgovernment services, as well as detailed guidelineson how to develop them. It also includes many of thestrategic initiatives that fall under the eGovernmentprogramme.Services Development StrategyAlignment of eGovernment budget with the federalbudget.http://www.mof.gov.ae/En/Budget/Pages/ZEROBudgeting.aspxFederal government budgetCovers three dimensions (environment, readiness andservices), and contributes to the identification of gapsand opportunities that can be addressed through theobjectives and specific initiatives in the eGovernmentstrategy.http://www.emiratesegov.aeCurrent Situation AnalysisComparisons of best practices in the field ofeGovernment to support the development of the newstrategy and define its primary objectives and initiatives.BenchmarkingThere is a considerable leadership confidence that successful implementation of the federaleGovernment strategy 2012-2014 will help to improve the UAE’s global competitiveness and enhancingthe UAE’s eTransformation. This is described clearly in the vision and mission statements developedas part of the strategy and as depicted in Figure 6 below.
  12. 12. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 137Figure 6: UAE eGovernment development methodologySource: http://www.emiratesegov.aeAs shown in the above diagram, the government adopted a seven-stage strategy development process.It included benchmarks with some international eGovernment practices and implementations, suchas Canada, USA, Southern Europe, Singapore, the European Union and GCC countries. The outcomeof this exercise was the definition and prioritising of the initiatives and the primary focus areas. Thedevelopment approach took into account three primary dimensions of eServices, eReadiness, and ICTenvironment (Figure 7).
  13. 13. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 138Figure 7: Strategy Development PlanSource: http://www.emiratesegov.aeThe eService dimension is concerned with the acceleration of the pace of eTransformation withingovernment organisations and the provision of high quality electronic services through innovativedelivery channels; e.g., Internet, fixed and mobile phones and kiosks, besides the traditional servicecentres. eReadiness focuses on strengthening the capacities of federal agencies in terms of ICT,organisation structures, HR capabilities and competencies, and their readiness for eTransformation.The ICT environment dimension covers organisational factors such as policies and legislations neededto support the implementation of eGovernment initiatives. This has resulted in the development offive strategic goals as depicted in Figure 8.
  14. 14. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 139Figure 8: Strategic intents, goals, and work themesSource: http://www.emiratesegov.aeIn order to achieve these goals, the government has identified 38 initiatives to be implemented aspart of the eGovernment strategy. Figure 9 depicts the initiatives for each of the four work streams.These 38 initiatives cover four vital eGovernment areas:1. Strengthening the regulatory framework and governance mechanisms for eGovernment inthe country. This is related to the legal and regulatory environment governing acquisition anduse of information systems in government agencies, eGovernment services, and a high levelplan for the overall development of the public sector in the country. Regulations and laws areconsidered primary enablers to support eGovernment and ensure security, reliability and dataprivacy. As such, this area also includes the development of strong governance structure tofacilitate communication between the different stakeholders and attempts to capture theirneeds and turn them into electronic service systems.2. Infrastructure support of information systems in the United Arab Emirates. This theme dealswith creating a solid infrastructure for information systems to enable the delivery of world-classeGovernment services. It also focuses on aspects such as facilitation of exchange and sharing ofdata between government agencies.
  15. 15. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1403. Launching and providing eGovernment applications and services. This theme focuses on a setof applications and services to be provided to government agencies to support them in providingeGovernment services effectively and efficiently.4. Development of effective mechanisms for performance management. This theme focuses onimproving overall effectiveness and actual levels of performance of departments of informationtechnology within government agencies. It also deals with developing automated tools andreports to monitor performance indicators and overall performance management.
  16. 16. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 141Figure 9: UAE eGovernment 2011-2014 initiativesSource: http://www.emiratesegov.aeThe government identified 20 strategic performance indicators across all five strategic objectives tomeasure the implementation success of the strategy. Figure 10 shows 8 of these key performanceindicators (KPIs).
  17. 17. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 142Figure 10: Some of the UAE eGovernment 2011-2014 KPIsSource: http://www.emiratesegov.ae
  18. 18. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 143The government also developed an operating model that will be used to measure progress basedon two variables: (1) citizen centricity and (2) efficiency and effectiveness factors associated withinitiatives and projects. The model consists of six elements, as depicted in Figure 11. Each ofthese elements is managed through a separate and dedicated set of project portfolios. The mostimportant element in the model is the construction of necessary security measures to develop trustand confidence levels between the service providers and the beneficiary.Figure 11: UAE eGovernment strategy operating modelSource: http://www.emiratesegov.aeOne of the key programmes launched by the UAE to build trust and security in its eGovernment plan isthe national identity management infrastructure programme. There is a high level of interdependencebetween these two initiatives. As part of the programme, the UAE issues a smart card with digitalidentities for all of its population which is estimated at around 9 million people. The next sectionwill elaborate further on the objective of this programme.6. UAE National Identity Management InfrastructureThe UAE national identity management infrastructure is a strategic initiative to enhance homelandsecurity and develop a federated identity management system enabling secure eGovernmenttransactions (Al-Khouri, 2012b). A federated identity is the means of linking a person’s electronicidentity and attributes, stored across multiple distinct identity management systems (Madsen,2005). Such systems would allow individuals to use the same user name, password or other personalidentification to sign in to the networks of more than one enterprise in order to conduct transactions(Bertino & Takahashi, 2011; Roebuck, 2011; Windley, 2005).
  19. 19. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 144As part of the programme, the UAE issues smart identity cards for all of its population. The UAE nationalidentity card is one of the world’s most advanced and secure smart cards. The card is provided withidentification parameters stored securely in the smart chip. It thus enables establishing a person’sidentity on-site (physically) and remotely (virtually), enabling secure and trusted transactions. Themulti factor authentication which provides both match-on-card4 and match-off-card5 features,facilitates validation, verification and authentication of any given identity. The cardholder can thenaccess all identity based services as shown in Figure 12.Figure 12: National ID Card: Key Enabler for UAE eGovernment.The UAE ID card capabilities of on-site identification, remote identification and authentication areavailable to be used across the different applications enabling various forms of electronic transactionse.g., G2C, B2C, etc. These are facilitated by PIN verification, biometric authentication (match oncard and match off card features) and digital signatures (Figure 13).4 Match-On-Card (MOC): The process of matching a biometric sample against a previously stored template on the samesmartcard. MOC is the best known approach to underwrite cardholder’s privacy protection.5 Match-Off-Card: The process of matching a biometric sample against a previously stored template outside of card orany portable personal object.
  20. 20. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 145Figure 13: Enabling secure eGovernment transactions through smart identity cardsThe UAE national identity management system eliminates the need to maintain distinct usercredentials in separate systems. In an eGovernment context, this should result in greatly simplifiedadministration and streamlined access to resources.Government agencies in the UAE’s federated identity management (FIM) system will depend onthe National Identity Validation Gateway to authenticate their respective users and vouch fortheir access to services. Agencies will be able to share applications without needing to adopt thesame technologies for directory services, security and authentication. This is enabled by the activedirectory services part of the FIM that allows government agencies to recognise their users througha single identity (Figure 14).
  21. 21. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 146Figure 14: Federated identity management systemUAE is currently taking rapid steps in integrating its identity management infrastructure and its smartcard capabilities in various public sector systems and applications. Some of the current deploymentsfor card usage include the eGate service at the airports that allows cardholders to pass throughimmigration control using biometric authentication.In addition, citizens inAbu Dhabi6, for example, have the ability to login to the online local governmentportal and avail themselves of various eServices and utility payments. Some additional servicesprovided through the Abu Dhabi portal include viewing and modifying details of one’s personal trafficprofile with Abu Dhabi Police, such as address, licence plate, etc.There is increasing motivation in the UAE’s public sector to rely on the new identity card to provideits services. It is expected that all eGovernment services would eventually require registering for theUAE identity card and PIN to access online government services. Integration of the national identitycard is ongoing in all the federal and local authorities.The design of the UAE federated identity management system ensures reliable and secure accessfrom multiple locations, and hence provides advanced mobility. This supports the vision set in theUAE eGovernment strategic framework to deliver public sector services through different channels;whether it is the internet, kiosk machines, mobile phone applications or any other electronic channel.The UAE national identity card is viewed as the cornerstone for enabling successful deployment ofeGovernment and eServices strategy in the country.6 Abu Dhabi eGovernment: The Abu Dhabi eGovernment Gateway provides a centralised electronic gateway for Emirate-wide information dissemination between the Abu Dhabi Government and its customers. The Gateway provides citizens,residents, visitors and businesses with streamlined access to around 900 services, many of which are available astransactional online services, in addition to more than 250 general information pages, and 95 department pages.http://www.abudhabi.ae.
  22. 22. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 1477. ConclusionsIn an era of increasing digital communications and connectivity, governments are paying moreattention to the interaction with their citizens within the virtual world (Bwalya, 2012; Reddick,2010b). While making such attempts, governments are realising that conventional physical trustmechanisms are now insufficient and that there is a clear need to develop new capabilities toidentify electronic identities (Andress & Winterfield, 2011; Basin et al., 2011; Howard & Prince,2011; Sheldon & Vishik, 2011).The government of the UAE decided, as part of its national development strategy, to own theidentification process itself and provide secure, unique and tamper-proof digital identities to itspopulation. This kind of identity management system owned by the national government is envisagedto offer improved security, gain higher levels of trust, confidence and encourage participation.The federated identity management system, which is a fundamental component of the UAE’s identityinfrastructure, is foreseen to eliminate the need to replicate databases of users’ credentials forseparate applications and systems. It also paves the way to use a common framework to shareinformation between trusted partners, where government agencies would not need to establishseparate relationships and procedures with one another to conduct transactions.The UAE eGovernment initiatives will be more successful when citizens will be able to transcendthe physical borders to carry out their transactions. A citizen should be able to use his/her nationalidentity card to conduct eGovernment and eCommerce transactions on websites verified and validatedby a single identity validation service. This should be the future aspiration.To the extent that the UAE federated identity allows government agencies to offer controlled accessto data or other resources, it has the potential to enable new levels of collaboration between thedifferent agencies. Identity management can support process re-engineering for extending access tovaluable resources, using multi-factor authentication mechanisms, while the integration of systemsacross governmental and private sector spheres further broadens the opportunities for supportingeGovernment and eCommerce applications.8. ReferencesAl-Khouri, A.M. & Bal, J. (2007). Electronic Government in the GCC Countries. International Journalof Social Sciences, 1(2), 83-98.Al-Khouri, A.M. & Bachlaghem, M. (2011). Towards Federated eIdentity Management across the GCC:A Solution’s Framework. Global Journal of Strategies & Governance, 4(1), 30-49.Al-Khouri, A.M. (2012a). Emerging Markets and Digital Economy: Building Trust in The Virtual World.International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy, 3(2), 57-69.Al-Khouri, A.M. (2012b). PKI in Government Digital Identity Management Systems. The EuropeanJournal of ePractice, 14, 4-21.Ambali, A. (2010). E-government in Public Sector: Policy Implications and Recommendations forPolicy-makers. Research Journal of International Studies, 17, retrieved April 11, 2012 from http://www.eurojournals.com/RJIS_17_10.pdf.Andress, J., & Winterfield, S. (2011). Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics, and Tools for SecurityPractitioners. Waltham, MA: Syngress.
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  25. 25. European Journal of ePractice · www.epracticejournal.euNº 17 · September 2012 · ISSN: 1988-625X 150Roebuck, K. (2011). Federated ID Management. Tebbo Publishing.Serageldin, I. (2011). Science and the Arab spring. Issues in Science and Technology, retrieved May16, 2012 from http://www.issues.org/27.4/p_serageldin.html.Sheldon, F. T., & Vishik, C. (2011). Moving toward trustworthy systems: R&D essentials.Computer,44(9), 31-40. retrieved April 13, 2012 from http://www.computer.org.Suomi, R. & Tähkäpää, J. (2002) The Strategic Role of ICT in the Competition Between Public andPrivate Health Care Sectors in the Nordic Welfare Societies - Case Finland. Proceedings of the 35thHawaii International Conference on System Sciences, retrieved July 13, 2012 from http://www.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2002/1435/06/14350145b.pdf.Tassabehji, R. & Elliman, T. (2006). Generating Citizen Trust in e-Government using a Trust VerificationAgent: A research note, European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS).July 6-7 2006, Costa Blanca, Alicante, Spain.Torres, L., Vicente Pina, V. & Royo, S. (2005). E-government and the Transformation of PublicAdministrations in EU Countries: Beyond NPM or just a Second Wave of Reforms? retrieved April 11,2012 from http://www.dteconz.unizar.es/DT2005-01.pdf.UNDP (2010). United Nations Global EGovernment Survey 2010, retrieved April 11, 2012 from http://www2.unpan.org/egovkb/documents/2010/E_Gov_2010_Complete.pdf.UNDP (2012). United Nations EGovernment Survey 2012: eGovernment for the People. retrieved April11, 2012 from http://www2.unpan.org/egovkb/global_reports/12report.htm.Varian, H.R., Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C. (2005). The Economics of Information Technology. New York:Cambridge University Press.Warkentin, M., Gefen D., Pavlou P.A. & Rose, G. (2002). Encouraging Citizen Adoption of eGovernmentby Building Trust. Electronic Markets, 12(3), 157-162.Windley, P. J. (2005). Digital identity (1st ed.). Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.Yee, G., El-Khatib, K., Korba, L., Patrick, K.A.S., Song, R. and Xu, Y. (2005) Privacy and Trust ineGovernment. Electronic Government Strategies and Implementation, 145-190.AuthorAli M. Al-KhouriUnited Arab EmiratesAli.AlKhouri@emiratesid.aehttp://www.epractice.eu/en/people/271476

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